One of them’s a suspected associate of Zarqawi’s. What’s a control order, you ask? Rusty analogizes it to probation, leading one to wonder why four suspected terrorists would be allowed out in public instead of locked away. Answer: because they haven’t been tried or convicted of anything. Control orders are actually a hybrid legal device that lets the Brits impose certain legal disabilities on people — electronic tags, limitations on freedom of movement, mandatory check-ins with the police, etc. — if they’re suspected of jihad but there’s not enough evidence to prosecute. Needless to say, they’re highly controversial and highly ineffective: this isn’t the first time a suspect’s skipped out.
The real answer here is to do away with control orders and have MI5 surveil people like this, but they’re overwhelmed with other jihadi plots as it is. They’d better start hiring.